High survival rate for trees in Bung Jagoi’s forest thanks to restoration efforts

One for the album with everyone. Photos credit: WWF-Malaysia Zora Chan

KUCHING, Jan 14: The community’s forest restoration efforts in Jagoi Heritage Forest in Bau district are seeing positive results of high tree survival rates after 1,000 native tree species were planted a year ago.

The community, led by its Jagoi Area Development Committee (JADC), joined hands with Peterson and Control Union, Forest Department Sarawak (FDS), and WWF-Malaysia in the six-month reforestation project.

JADC chairman Professor Dr Gabriel Tonga Noweg revealed that the graph produced through Survey123 showed a 95 per cent survival rate from the first survival assessment result of 774 trees assessed and recorded between March and April last year.


“The first tree survival assessment was done by JADC, and assisted by post-graduate students and staff from Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (IBEC), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), three months after the planting in December 2020.

“ArcGIS Survey123 (a form centric data collection application) was used to collect the data,” he said through a media release by WWF-Malaysia following a site visit recently.

The project, covering 1.8 hectares of degraded and landslide areas, aimed to enrich forest cover in degraded areas, maintain forest connectivity, and conserve the forest-culture-history of the Bidayuh in this community conserved area.

Hopefully, the enrichment will help the community in their application for Green List recognition from IUCN.

This effort is leveraging on the FDS’s drive on forest landscape restoration, in which the project was funded by Peterson and Control Union, and FDS sponsored 1,000 saplings.

On Jan 7, JADC, Peterson and Control Union, FDS and WWF-Malaysia erected a signboard to mark the successful completion of the project in Jagoi Heritage Forest, which is popularly known as Bung Jagoi. They also took part in the second tree survival assessment.

In December 2020, Peterson and Control Union committed financial support to the reforestation effort as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) special project in conjunction with the organisation’s 100th-anniversary celebration that year.

A staff member from Control Union is happy to ‘meet’ one of the trees planted along the main trail to Bung Jagoi peak.

Control Union general manager Supun Nigamuni pointed out that the positive result seen in Jagoi is a testament to how communities can thrive while protecting their heritage and their nature.

“It’s our duty as corporate citizens to facilitate such endeavours. We are very happy the project was able to proceed amid the continued pandemic concerns, and we are thankful to JADC, WWF-Malaysia and FDS for all the support extended to make this a reality,” he said.

WWF-Malaysia head of Sarawak Conservation Programme Dr Jason Hon mentioned that all parties, including private, government, and civil societies, could collaborate effectively on forest landscape restoration efforts in Sarawak.

“We hope that the model in Jagoi could be replicated to other communities, with support from both private and government sectors. We are thankful to both the Forest Department Sarawak and Peterson & Control Union for making this happen at Jagoi.

“Nevertheless, the project would not have been possible without the full commitments from the Jagoi community themselves, who see the values in maintaining the forests here,” he said.

He noted that the Bung Jagoi communities have been taking care of their heritage forests for a long time, and they demonstrated an excellent example of community conservation efforts.

“Their initiative to pursue Green List recognition further demonstrates their commitment,” he added.

Bung Jagoi is among the five sites in Malaysia that initially applied for the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Green List of Protected and Conserved areas.

It is also a heritage site for the Bidayuh of Jagoi in Bau District and one of the popular hiking spots for the locals. It is hoped that other communities can observe the efforts of the Bung Jagoi community and follow their steps in conserving and protecting our valuable forests. — DayakDaily